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TORONTO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index rose more than 120 points on Monday as energy firms followed a strong rise in crude and natural gas prices.
U.S. oil futures shot up more than 2 percent to above $94 a barrel in response to a threat from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to cut off oil supplies to the United States. For details, see: [nN09548263]
TSX oil and gas firms, which represent about 25 percent of the overall index, climbed 1.6 percent on the prospect of a ramp up in demand from the United States, the world’s top fuel consumer.
Overall, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 129.51 points, or 1 percent, at 13,118.85 by early afternoon. It had been relatively flat for much of the morning.
Materials shares, including miners and metals producers, also added some leverage, rising 1.8 percent amid firm gold and base metal prices.
Fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) was the biggest weighted gainer, up C$5.80 at C$143.22.
Other sectors in positive terrain included utilities, up 0.6 percent, and information technology, up 1.9 percent.
Among techs, Nortel Networks NT.TO advanced 11 Canadian cents to C$11.15 after a report in the Wall Street Journal said it was in talks with Motorola Inc MOT.N to combine wireless infrastructure units. For details, see: [nN11529544]
Elsewhere, shares of Montreal Exchange Inc MXX.TO were up 29 Canadian cents at C$36.00. The operator of the derivatives market reported lower fourth-quarter earnings.
$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Rob Wilson